FVSU Students Conduct Research at Utah State University

Posted on Aug 16, 2023

Three Fort Valley State University students participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) through Utah State University’s College of Agriculture and Applied Science.

SURE was established in 1975 and is one of the oldest undergraduate research programs in the country. Through SURE, undergraduate students are supported at all stages of research, and students are assisted with finding, funding, and presenting research that matters to the participant. After applying and being accepted into the program, students are paired with a Utah State University faculty member and a research project.

Dasia Fields, a senior animal science major from Cochran, Georgia, spent the summer researching the effects of oxygen levels on bovine oocyte maturation and embryo development. Fields completed her research project with five additional undergraduate students.

“I’d like to encourage any animal science major to apply to the program. Conducting specialized research in a lab will prepare you for your future career,” says Fields. As a future zoologist, she plans to continue her research and seek additional internship opportunities.

Joshua Woodard graduated from FVSU in May 2023. He left for Utah just a few days after Commencement. Woodard is from Dekalb County, Georgia, and majored in animal science. During the summer, he studied bovine trophoblast cell culture and characterization.

“This opportunity was perfect for me,” says Woodard. “Working with DNA primers has made me rethink my career goals. I am grateful for the opportunity to study in Utah.”

Woodard will return to FVSU to complete his master’s in animal science. He has decided to continue his research in identifying and characterizing genes in livestock.

Montana Williams is a senior Veterinary Technology major from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Williams conducted her research on NAD/NADP deficiency in mice populations. Her research was completed in the animal dietary veterinary medicine lab.

During their stay, SURE participants spent ten weeks in Logan, Utah, living in Summit Hall. Participants conducted research Monday through Friday, averaging 40 hours each week. All participants received a stipend of $4,000 to assist with living expenses.

In 2022, Fort Valley State University and Utah State University signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing a framework for the two land-grant institutions to collaborate and cooperate on activities of mutual interest. With the MOU furthering the development of research collaboration, FVSU students were given the opportunity to apply to conduct research with SURE.

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